On any given Sunday, there used to be one facet of an NFL football game that was a constant. You knew there was going to be a Referee and six Officials on the field at all times. Then came the emergence of Peyton Manning.
When the Kansas City Chiefs are on defense against the Denver Broncos Sunday night, there will be an eighth official on the field. He’ll be wearing the No. 18 jersey, but will not be adorned in stripes.
In the final minutes of last night’s 28-20 Broncos win over the San Diego Chargers, Manning went down with an ankle injury. He got up, but before he made it off the field, went back down again. Everyone watching had to be thinking that Peyton had been hurt badly.
When notified he was going to have to leave the field for a play, he leapt to his feet and began yelling at the officials that had gathered, pleading his case that he had called a timeout, which would allow him to stay on the field.
Last year, in a 35-24 comeback victory over the Chargers, he was seen yelling expletives into the ear of an official while standing on the sidelines. No flag was thrown.
On Monday Night Football back in 2005 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, microphones caught him calling officials by their first names. Not joking around before or after the game, while arguing a call in the fourth quarter of what was at the time a 23-7 game.
I could care less whether Peyton got a timeout called last night or not. Maybe the offensive pass interference call against WR Eric Decker was a bad call last year. I’m sure a lot of players, especially QBs, know the officials by first name, but arguing calls is the responsibility of the head coach.
Any other player going on a tirade and questioning the judgment of an official, especially with the use of expletives, would be flagged and most likely later fined … but not Manning.
Kansas City hopes Peyton’s leaping to his feet so quickly didn’t further aggravate an already nagging ankle injury and today’s MRI comes back clear. The Chiefs want Manning on the field come Sunday. They’re tired of playing backup quarterbacks and having their victories excused by the fact.
Andy Reid and company have an argument to state as well. Reid would normally take it politely to the guy in stripes and a white hat, but if players are allowed to do the talking, the Chiefs defense will gladly throw profanities directly at No. 18.
Troy Alan is a Kansas City Chiefs writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @TRantMedia.